Utah County doctors ask for regulations at jump gyms

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jul 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-18 00:37:46-04

UTAH COUNTY, Utah -- Kids love to jump on trampolines, but Utah County doctors said injuries are so severe, the county health department should step in and regulate jump gyms in the county.

Trauma doctors from Utah Valley Regional Medical Center said they're seeing compound fractures, neck and spinal injuries.  ER physicians said sometimes children need multiple surgeries.

At Lowe's Xtreme Airsports in Provo, kids jump into foam pits, there are tumble tracks and trampolines.  Managers said despite seeing 10,000 kids a month, injuries are few, and they claim they're different from other jump gyms.

"Other trampoline parks have trampolines everywhere and anyone can jump as many at a time as they want," said manager Misty Uribe.

Lance Madigan, spokesperson for the Utah County Health Department, spoke about the potential danger.

"These are industrial grade, for lack of better word, trampolines,” he said. “These are not the kinds of things you see in a backyard.  These are things that you can get real height, real momentum on, and you're seeing severe breaks, concussions, just injuries that you would associate with contact sports, not with a trampoline.”

On Monday, the county health department will discuss regulations.

"We're trying to set some guidelines for the number that can be in a given gym at any given time, the age, proper supervision, proper maintenance of equipment," Madigan said.

The health department said it's working together with trampoline parks to come up with reasonable rules, and they say safety is in the best interest of the gyms.

"They were talking about things like making sure the equipment is inspected and we do, we have a log, so as long as it's reasonable things I'm not against it," Uribe said.  "Writing down injuries you have and reporting them, anything like that, I'm totally fine with that because we do it anyway. It wouldn't be that difficult."

"We want to have a safe, fun environment,” Madigan said. “Someplace people can go enjoy themselves and not put themselves at risk. We're not necessarily trying to come in and shut somebody down.”

While the county health department may have a list of regulations by Monday, Utah County residents will have public comment on this, and that will likely begin in September.